Carers provide stability
“ANYONE can do it,” foster carer Mary Brown said of the role she and husband Roger took up about four years ago.
“There must be so many people that can do it.”
The Hillarys residents spoke to the Weekender about their experiences as carers for three boys – aged seven, almost eight and nine – ahead of an upcoming foster carers information session in Joondalup.
Semi-retired, the couple decided to become foster carers after returning from a trip overseas.
“Our kids are grown up and have left home,” Mr Brown said.
“We were talking along the lines of ‘what are we going to do now?’; I came home from work and she said ‘what about fostering?’.
“I had a great childhood; it really appealed to me to put something back and give a kid an opportunity to have a choice between chaos and what I believe is normal life.
“I just wanted them to have good memories; to have that opportunity to stand on their own feet.”
The Browns took the first step by attending an information session similar to the one planned at the Joondalup district office on May 9. Mr Brown said it took about nine months to go through the assessment and training.
He said while they had already raised their own son and daughter, now aged 30 and 28, foster care was different.
“We’ve had a second chance at seeing it from a different perspective,” he said. “It’s revitalised us; I’m building sand castles and going to school assemblies.”
While the Browns have faced difficult behaviours, the couple said the boys’ progress made it worth it.
“I look back and see how they have flourished,” Mrs Brown said.
“It’s important to those kids that someone stable like that cares and believes in them.”
The Browns said fostering involved partnerships between themselves, the department, the children’s extended families and schools, and they were grateful for all the support provided.
With more than 300 children in care in the Joondalup district, acting district director Ben Whitehouse said the department was looking for people who wanted to make a difference in a child or young person’s life. The information session at 8 Davidson Terrace, Joondalup on May 9 is from 6-8pm.
“Foster carers can be single women or men, married or samesex couples, with or without children of their own, or young or old,” Mr Whitehouse said. “More than www.communitypix.com.au d468274 120 children in care in the Joondalup district are Aboriginal and wherever possible, they are cared for by their extended family, a member of their Aboriginal community or other Aboriginal carers.
“When Aboriginal carers are not available, the children are cared for by local foster carers,.
“Every child deserves a permanent, safe and stable home.”
Visit www.cpfs.wa.gov.au or call 1800 182 178.
Foster carers Roger and Mary Brown.